AstraZeneca sells small molecule antibiotics business to Pfizer

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AstraZeneca has agreed to sell its late-stage small molecule antibiotics business to Pfizer.

AstraZeneca will sell the business’s commercialisation and development rights in most markets globally outside the US.

The portfolio comprises the approved antibiotics Merrem, Zinforo and Zavicefta, and ATM-AVI and CXL, both of which are in clinical development.

Under the terms of the agreement, Pfizer will make an upfront payment to AstraZeneca of $550 million upon completion and a further unconditional payment of $175 million in January 2019 for the commercialisation and development rights to the late-stage antibiotics business in all markets where AstraZeneca holds the rights. In addition, Pfizer will pay up to $250 million in commercial, manufacturing and regulatory milestones, up to $600 million in sales-related payments as well as recurring, double-digit royalties on future sales of Zavicefta and ATM-AVI in certain markets.

Luke Miels, Executive Vice President for Europe and Head of the Antibiotics Business Unit at AstraZeneca, said: “We’re pleased that our strong science in antibiotics will continue to serve a critical public health need through Pfizer’s dedicated focus on infectious diseases, ensuring these important medicines reach greater numbers of patients around the world.”

John Young, Group President, Pfizer Essential Health, said: “The addition of AstraZeneca’s complementary small molecule anti-infectives portfolio will help expand patient access to these important medicines and enhance our global expertise and offerings in this increasingly important area of therapeutics.”

MedImmune’s portfolio of biologics, on-market products such as FluMist/Fluenz and Synagis, and AstraZeneca’s stake in Entasis Therapeutics, spun-off from AstraZeneca in 2015 and now operating as a stand-alone company focused on the development of innovative small-molecule anti-infectives, are not included as part of the agreement.